Kritter Kondos Outdoor Cat Enclosures, Catios, and Pet Furniture

What To Put In A Catio: Must-Haves, Nice-to-Haves, And Decor Preferences


What To Put In A Catio: Must-Haves, Nice-to-Haves, And Decor Preferences


This post was updated on January 13, 2024

If you’re a cat lover, you know that keeping your feline friend safe and happy is a top priority. One way to do this is by building an outdoor enclosure, a safe outdoor space where your cat can enjoy the fresh air while staying protected from the dangers of the outside world. This post is all about what to put in a catio.

But what should you put in your catio to make it the ultimate cat playground? Here are some must-haves, nice-to-haves, and decor preferences to consider.

RELATED: Tips and Tricks For Making Your Catio Super Pretty


What to Put in a Catio: Must-Haves

Creating safe space in your cat’s enclosed playground ensures they will have a secure, but stimulating outdoor experience. In order to make sure your cat’s catio is functional, comfortable, and enjoyable, there are a few must-have items that you should include.

These are what we consider necessary catio supplies. There are many other catio accessories that can be added (we discuss further down) we consider β€˜nice to have’, first let’s make sure the necessities are fulfilled.

RELATED: Catio Accessories: The Essential Guide to Making Your Catio Purr-fect 

Catio Furniture

Cats love to climb, and perch, so providing them with a variety of elevated surfaces to explore is a must. Consider installing shelves, perches, and even cat trees to give your cat plenty of vertical space to play and relax.




Giving your kitty cat all the

outdoor trimmings, safely!

Water Bowl

Cats need access to fresh water at all times, so include a water bowl in your setup. Consider adding a fountain for added stimulation and hydration.

A water fountain or make shift pond is a super nice way to upgrade an enclosure, but any bowl with water will be enough for the must-have catio supply.

Safe Enclosure

Your catio should be fully enclosed to prevent your cat from escaping or encountering other animals.

There are several ways to get one installed; you can DIY or higher a catio builder. Either way, it is very important to make sure you are using solid material and that it is escape artist proof for the extra clever feline who might be a little too curious.

Other predators can also bust into a flimsy catio so never leave your cats unattended and definetly do not leave them out overnight with out a way to get back into your house.

RELATED: Keeping Cool Cats: The Role of Shade in Your Cat’s Cati

Nice-to-Have Catio Accessories

Litter Box

If your cat spends a significant amount of time in the catio, consider adding a litter box for their convenience. Make sure to clean it regularly to maintain a healthy environment.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Your Cat Litter Box

Cat-Friendly Plants

Adding some greenery can be aesthetically pleasing and provide some mental stimulation for your cat. However, make sure to choose plants that are safe for cats, such as catnip, wheatgrass, and spider plants.

Plant/FlowerToxicity LevelNotes
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)Non-toxicLoved by cats, induces playful behavior
Cat Grass (Dactylis glomerata)Non-toxicAids in digestion, provides chewing outlet
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)Non-toxicAir-purifying, safe for curious cats
Mint (Mentha)Non-toxicPleasant scent, can be used for enrichment
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)Non-toxicFragrant, adds sensory stimulation
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)Non-toxicEdible flowers, visually appealing
Marigold (Calendula officinalis)Non-toxicBright colors, safe for cats to explore

It’s important to note that even non-toxic plants may cause mild digestive upset if ingested in large quantities.

RELATED: Concrete Pots: The Perfect Addition To Your Catio

Outdoor Cat Toys


Providing your cat with toys to play with can make their outdoor experience even more enjoyable. Consider adding toys specifically designed for outdoor use, such as balls, tunnels, and scratching posts.

ToyMaterialWhy Suitable for Outdoors
Feather WandFeathers, RodMimics natural prey, encourages hunting
Climbing TreeWood, SisalProvides vertical space, scratching surface
Catnip BubblesPlasticOutdoor-friendly, cats enjoy chasing bubbles
Jingle BallsPlasticLightweight, easy to bat around
Laser PointerPlasticEngages cats in interactive play
Outdoor TunnelFabric, SteelOffers hiding and exploration opportunities
Water FountainStainless SteelEncourages hydration, fun water play, no rust
Be sure your outdoor supplies are water-resistant or waterproof.

Plastic toys are suitable for outdoors as they are durable, weather-resistant, and easy to clean. They can withstand exposure to elements like sunlight and rain, making them ideal for use in an outdoor catio.

Decor Preferences

Color Scheme

Consider choosing a color scheme for your catio that complements your home’s exterior or your cat’s fur color. This can make the space more visually appealing and cohesive.

Use outdoor fabric that can withstand harsh sunlight, wind and rain.

Comfortable Seating

If you plan on spending time with your cat in the catio, include comfortable seating for yourself. This can be anything from a bench to a lounge chair.


Adding some outdoor lighting can make the cat enclosure usable at all hours of the day or night. Consider adding string lights or solar-powered lanterns for a cozy ambiance.

Creating the ultimate outdoor cat enclosure for your cat can be a fun and rewarding project. By including must-haves like cat shelves and perches, a water bowl, and a safe enclosure, along with nice-to-haves like a litter box, cat-friendly plants, and outdoor cat toys, you can create a space that your cat will love. And by incorporating your decor preferences, you can make your catio a stylish and comfortable addition to your home.


You can take this to the next level by styling it to match your aesthetic preferences.

One idea is to match your cat furniture to your patio furniture. If you have a modern style, try incorporating sleek, minimalist cat furniture into your catio. On the other hand, if you have a more traditional style, consider using wooden cat furniture with a classic design.


A sanctuary awaits 🌳, beneath the old oak tree.
It’s the place where the purrs and the trills intertwine, 🐾
A haven called the catio, where joy is the feline sign. 😺

Crafted with care, a DIY delight ✨,
In the catio’s embrace, the kitties take flight. πŸš€
With scratching posts tall and tunnels to explore, 🐱
Every whiskered resident finds something more. 🐾

In the catio plan, a cat lover’s dream, 🌟
Where cats love to lounge, and birds softly gleam. 😻
Safe plants adorn the space, with a garden so green, 🌿
Creating a haven, a tranquil scene. 🌼

Outdoor litter tucked away, in a corner discreet, πŸ’©
A space for feline needs, where comfort meets. 😺
Custom catios, each one unique, ❀️
A reflection of love, for the ones we seek. 🏑

Cat tunnels wind and twist, like a maze, πŸŒ€
A playground for paws, in sun-drenched days. β˜€οΈ
With every enclosure, a story is told, πŸ“–
Of adventures untold, and love manifold. πŸ’–

So, affiliate with nature, provide a space, 🌱
Where kitties can frolic, in their own embrace. 🐾
For in the catio’s embrace, joy does bloom, 🌺
Enrichment for cats, in their outdoor room. 🌳

Another option is to stick with a particular theme or style. For example, you could create a tropical-themed catio with palm trees, bright colors, and a hammock for your cat to lounge in. Or, if you prefer a more rustic look, consider using natural materials like wood and stone to create a cozy, cabin-like atmosphere.

When it comes to adding color, the possibilities are endless. Try adding colorful liners to your cat shelves or incorporating brightly colored toys and accessories. Around the holidays, you can decorate your catio with seasonal decorations. For example, you could use pastel colors and Easter-themed decorations in the spring, or string Christmas lights around your catio in December and January.

Overall, styling your catio is a fun and creative way to make it your own and create a space that both you and your cat will love.

Adding things to your catio can be fun and easy. Creating a plan, strategy, shopping list and a to-do-list will all help you build and design the best feline playground ever!

This post is all about what to put in a catio.

🐾 Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC! 🏑 She’s got a dapper tuxedo cat who’s been her sidekick since he was a tiny furball. 🐱 Before Finnegan came along, Lisa cared for two FIV-positive cats for over ten years! 🌟 Their love inspired her to create a cat enclosure and a portable catio, giving kitties the purrfect spot to bask in the sun and feel the breeze. β˜€οΈπŸŒΏ

As a kid, Lisa shared her home with a Poodle and a chirpy parakeet! 🐩🐦

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